Spotlight on SilverBills
Nobody loves paying their bills… Well, nobody we know anyway. Wouldn’t it be nice to have help at least figuring out the complicated stuff … managing through all the details? Enter Marci Marci Lobel-Esrig and her company SilverBills. Two other things to look out for here: Gypsy Kings and robots
Founder: Marci Lobel-Esrig – SilverBills
“Problem” your company solves
SilverBills provides concierge bill management for older adults throughout the United States. Keeping current with bills can be challenging and mistakes can lead to dire consequences such as termination of benefits, like insurance, and financial exploitation. SilverBills receives, scrutinizes, stores and ensures payment of household bills.
Every client is paired with a dedicated Account Manager, and client computer use is optional.
Talk a bit about your path to entrepreneurship. Were you hustling lemonade in the neighborhood in elementary school or did your passion follow an intellectual interest?
I was a lawyer for Sterling Equities, the New York Mets’ parent company when the Bernie Madoff scandal broke, and the company lost $500 Million. I worked on that financial crime for 7 years and became an expert in the field. At the same time my elderly Aunt was aging in her home and struggling to manage her bills. Whenever her daughters visited from the other coast, they spent their time wading through piles of paper. So, it was a considerable pain point.
When I researched solutions, I learned that at the intersection of these issues there was a $1 Billion annual older adult financial exploitation crisis often perpetrated by criminals who purport to “help” write checks. These criminals meet in people’s homes with them and may steal valuables or write unauthorized checks. There was no scalable, trustworthy solution to the problem and that is how I became an entrepreneur: I realized the enormity of the problem and decided to build a solution.
If your company had a “Why we exist” statement what would it be?
Our mission is to help individuals age with dignity and security without being financially exploited because they need help managing household bills.
Was SilverBills a result of a key insight from you or a cofounder or did it come from a lot of trial and error?
Building the solution came from a lot of trial and error. Over time, we have been iterating the product and are continuing to do so. Earlier this month, we were awarded a $1.9 Million NIH grant to continue adding features to SilverBills.
If you could start this company again what would you go back and tell yourself not to do and what would you recommend doing more of?
I would tell myself not to try to do it all myself. I would start building a team earlier. I have really learned to appreciate the incredible value that my team brings to the table.
A favorite book and band, with one sentence why…
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong. The book is alarmingly painful and causes the reader to experience raw emotion. The Gypsy Kings… Lighthearted and evoked some great memories.
To me / our company, aging is ________
The ability to outsource a tedious task to trusted professionals to create more free time to enjoy life.
What’s one thing you hope the AgeTech Collaborative will help you achieve?
Introductions to companies and organizations that want to create pilots with SilverBills.
Predictions: Looking out 10 years what do you think might be a common experience or behavior or accepted product / practice that people are fearful or skeptical of today?
Robot caregivers. Due to current demographic predictions, there really will not be a choice.
Interview by Rick Robinson, the original can be found here.